Castle i Platja d’Aro, Girona counties, Catalonia, Spain

Castell i Platja d’Aro is a municipality in the middle of the Costa Brava in Catalonia, Spain. It is formed from two parts: Castell d’Aro is an ancient village built around a medieval castle and a fortified church, 3 km inland on the road from Platja d’Aro to Santa Cristina d’Aro; and Platja d’Aro is a coastal town on the road from Palamós to Sant Feliu de Guíxols which stretches along a large 2 km beach. Originally a small fishing village, Platja d’Aro is now a major coastal resort, popular predominantly with Catalans and villa-owning Northern Europeans.

The municipality is located in the heart of the Costa Brava. It limits to the north with Calonge, to the west it limits with Santa Cristina de Aro, to the south with San Feliu de Guíxols and to the east, with the coast. Castillo de Aro stretches across the eastern end of the Aro Valley, a narrow plain drained by the Ridauras River and situated between the Sierra de Cadiretes and the southern mountains of the Gavarres massif.

Platja d’Aro was originally a small fishing village on the road from Palamós to San Felíu de Guixols located on a large beach of 2 km. Now it is exploited for tourism and is full of hotels and other places for holiday use. It is one of the most important tourist destinations and third residence in the Girona regions, which means that in summer its inhabitants reach 50,000 inhabitants, while in winter only about 10,000 reside.

Castell-Platja d’Aro is a Catalan municipality located in the northeast of the Catalan Countries, in the south of the Baix Empordà and more specifically in the heart of the Costa Brava. It is part, together with Santa Cristina d’Aro, of the sub-region called Vall d’Aro. Three main population centers: Castell d’Aro, Platja d’Aro and s’Agaró, and several urbanisations form the urban fabric of this low-lying Empordà municipality of 10,445 inhabitants.

The urban fabric of the municipality runs between the foothills of the Massif de les Gavarres to the north and the Massif de l’Ardenya to the south. To the east, the municipality borders the Mediterranean Sea, where the river Ridaura and the streams of Can Carboner in Cala Rovira and Fanals in Platja Gran, near Cavall Bernat, flow. In terms of administrative boundaries, Castell-Platja d’Aro borders Calonge to the north, Santa Cristina d’Aro to the west and Sant Feliu de Guíxols to the south.. The coast of the municipality runs between the cove of Belladonna in the north and the beach of s’Agaró in the south. From north to south we find Canyers cove, Pi cove, Sa Rovira cove, Platja Gran, Riuet, already south of the mouth of the Ridaura, the Port d’Aro Nautical Club, Punta Prima, Sa Conca cove, Cala Pedrosa, already within the route of the Camino de Ronda de s’Agaró, Punta den Pau, and the beginning of Platja de s’Agaró, called Sant Pol further south and already within the municipality of Sant Feliu de Guixols.

Platja d’Aro is modernity, cosmopolitanism and dynamism, with a wide range of shops, accommodation and high-level entertainment. The sport, the culture and the major events are complemented by its coastline of wide beaches and small coves. Castell d’Aro is history, enchantment and a yearning for the medieval with its castle, church and the cobbled streets judiciously and sensitively preserved. S’Agaró is an area balanced between architecture and nature enveloped by the camí de ronda which becomes a path where all the shades of blue of the Mediterranean converge.

The first evidence of human habitation are a number of tombs dating from the neolithic era 2500 BC in the Pinell area. Around 2000 BC, towards the end of the neolithic period, groups of humans settled in the mountains of Treumal and Vallvanera. There are a number of monuments from this period, including the menhir of Vallbanera and the dolmen Cova dels Moros (“Cove of the Moors”).

Roman times
Roman ruins were discovered at the Vila de Pla de Palol dating from the 1st-4th Centuries AD. These occupy an area of 10,000 m2, and retain the majority of the patios and open spaces. The villa was part of a large agricultural estate including vineyards. It also exported clay for the manufacture of ceramics that were later exported by sea from the natural harbor of Cove Rovira.

Medieval era
From the 9th century, after recovering the territories from the Saracens, repopulation began in the Valley of Aro. The first colonizers were peasants. In 881, King Charlemagne offered the territory of the Aro Valley to the Bishop of Gerona.

The first documentary reference to Playa de Aro, in its original name Fanals d’Amunt, appears in 968. It is a precept of King Lotario, confirming Sunyer as abbot of the monastery of San Felíu de Guixols, as well as his possessions, among which were Fanals d’Amunt and the church.

The origin of Castillo de Aro is found in the Castle of Benedormiens. The castle appears documented in 1041, when the religious authorities, the knights of the territory and the nobles released the monastery of San Felíu de Guixols the custody of the castle with the obligation to protect the entire Valley of Aro, of which Fanals is an important part.

In 1585 the existence of a new church in Fanals de Baix, the current Fanals de Aro, is documented. Thus a new settlement is formed around him after leaving Fanals d’Amunt. In 1774 the extension of the church of Fanals de Aro finished.

Modern era
For centuries there was only a single municipality, in 1858 they were separated into two, one with Romanyá, Bell-lloc, Santa Cristina de Aro and Solius; and another with Castillo de Aro and Fanals de Aro, thus configuring the birth of the two current cities, Santa Cristina de Aro and Castillo de Aro.

In 1843, a centralized municipal model with census suffrage was established for the benefit of landowners with high incomes. In the 1869 elections, the federal and republican character of Ampurdán and Fanals was reflected. For this reason, in response to the suspension of constitutional guarantees and the disarmament action of the popular militia dictated by the central government, the federals rose up and the inhabitants of Fanals supported them, participating in the so-called “Foc de la Bisbal”. where different government forces clashed.

The architect Rafael Masó Valentí, a man of great artistic sensibility, took up the ambitious project of the Ensesa family, which promised to deliver a plot of land to the first descendant of S’Agaró who wanted to build, to build a residential city and make S’Agaró become become a small Spanish town integrated with the environment that surrounds it. At the same time, new constructions were developed: the Sant Pol Baths, the luxurious Monumental Hotel and the Hostal de la Gavina.

In 1962 the definitive tourist development for the municipality took place with the change of name from Fanals de Aro to Playa de Aro. The change of capital and the City Council of the historic and inland nucleus from Castillo de Aro to Playa de Aro during the same year, and of the first major international tourism promotion campaign. In 1964, 50 couples were given a gift to spend a week in the town to commemorate half the silver wedding anniversary and the other half their honeymoon with the program “Love meets in Playa de Aro.”

In 1970 the City Council, owner of the Castle of Benedormiens de Castillo de Aro, commissioned its first restoration. The oldest part was preserved, dating from the 12th century.

In 1978 the Carnival was celebrated again and in 1979 the first City Council of the new democracy was constituted. In 1983 the rooms of the Castle of Benedormiens were enabled to hold exhibitions. In 1995, the old town of Castillo de Aro was officially declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest by the Generalitat of Catalonia, together with the historic urbanization of S’Agaró and its coastal path.

In 1996, a new high-impact tourist campaign was started again, which proposed to tourists and visitors to look for, wherever the waves break, some very special shells and sea snails that allowed those who found them to get direct prizes and participate in the raffle of a car. In 1997 the Museu de la Nina (Doll Museum) was inaugurated in Castillo de Aro. The Museum of the Doll displays 350 dolls from all eras. It is also worth highlighting the representation of the Living Nativity that the residents of the town make each year, of enormous plastic beauty.

Platja d’Aro is modernity and cosmopolitanism, dynamism and the future. What it offers in terms of shopping, accommodation, leisure activities and restaurants is first class. Castell d’Aro is history and tradition, charm and medieval romance. Benedormiens Castle, Santa Maria Church, and the cobbled streets transport us back to other times. S’Agaró has become a place that strikes a balance between architecture and nature, a particular oasis of the right choices, future foresight combined with respect for the landscape. The hours of the day rapidly slip by in the sunny and refreshing atmosphere of the Main Beach, in the streets full of colour, fashion, trends and new collections; in the parks, gardens and coves.

A balance between architecture and nature
A particular oasis of the right choices, future foresight combined with respect for the landscape.It extends silently over a hill that is broken up by small, narrow rocky coves. Running gently along it is a coastal path that turns into an avenue. Between pines and flowers and beside cliffs you can contemplate all the different tones of blue of our own beloved Mediterranean Sea.

Castell d’Aro
History, tradition and medieval romance
Benedormiens Castle, Santa Maria Church, and the cobbled streets transport us back to other times. The ensemble, conserved with criteria and sensitivity, has been declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest. It is complemented by the original, pleasant yet curious Dolls Museum.

Platja d’Aro
Modernity, cosmopolitanism and dynamism
What it offers in terms of shopping, accommodation, leisure activities and restaurants is first class. Sport, culture, the hosting of important events, conferences and conventions are an integral part of its identity. Its coastline, with its beach of more than two kilometers in length and small coves to be explored, is unrivalled.

Events and festivals
The major events mark the tourist, social and cultural rhythm of the year with music, exhibitions and major festivals: Carnival, Medieval Market, the Beer Festival, the Enactment of the Nativity… The cultural highlights include points of interest such as the Doll Museum, art exhibitions at the Castell de Benedormiens and festivals of jazz and chamber music. The cultural heritage revolves around the Roman villa, the Romanesque churches, or the medieval centres of Castell d’Aro and S’Agaró Vell, National Sites of Cultural Interest.

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The cultural offer is wide, full of many attractions, activities and points of interest. The enchanting Dolls Museum at Castell d’Aro has 800 pieces from all over the world, from the distant past up to the present. The art exhibitions at Benedormiens Castle invite us to discover the painting and sculpture of well-known artists. The jazz and classical music festivals in S’Agaró invite us to enjoy every summer.

The historical heritage is extensive and invites us to take a long voyage through the history of humanity. We can discover there the Roman Villa at Pla de Palol, the fortified country houses, and the churches of Fanals d’Amunt (10th century) and Fanals d’Aro (17th century). Also not to be missed is a visit to the medieval center of Castell d’Aro (church, castle and ancient streets), and S’Agaró Vell, declared National Assets of Cultural Interest.

Experience a different Christmas, with new sensations, atmosphere and feelings. Enjoy a special New Year, unforgettable and magic. The eve of Sant Joan, full of lights, desires and emotions. 365 days of fashion, culture and nature. A hidden refuge, a longing to be discovered, a tender look, a special smile, an unusual day, an amazing night, an infinite beach, a taste of the Mediterranean, a feeling made passion, a reinvigorating freshness, an innovative personality, a taste of happiness you can touch, a story you can write…

Leisure activities
The Castell i Platja d’Aro accommodation a space in which to rest with high quality services: a wide, varied and extensive range to meet the needs of every client. The gastronomic offer brings all the flavours of the Mediterranean to the table so you can enjoy exquisite, surprising or traditional culinary sensations. Shopping is transformed into large open air shopping centre with an extensive and diverse range of establishments with their own trends, style and personality. The night reveals the most attractive, modern and cutting-edge venues with a young, attractive and modern spirit.

Leisure is the ideal complement for family holidays or for enjoying a day out with your partner or with friends. Funfair parks, multi-screen cinemas, bowling, bingo or a water park are some of the ideas that are complimented with activities organized on the beach, cultural guided tours, ‘sardana’ performances, the singing of ‘Habaneras’ and activities for children.

Diversity, personal attention and the complementary offer are its main attractions. There is then, a wide-ranging offer, varied and extensive for the needs of each customer, who can choose a seafront hotel or an inland campsite, or apartments with swimming pools and tennis courts.

Possibility of enjoying exquisite, surprising or traditional textures, aromas and sensations. An opportunity to enjoy the regional cuisine of the Empordà, or take a trip around the kitchens of the world and taste the culinary delights of a dozen countries.

Extensive and diverse range of establishments open every day, including public holidays. Fashion, trends, colours, style, personality and variety, are some of the characteristics that define this center. Parking, easy access, walkways, wide pavements, children’s games and green areas are features that make this place unique.

Weekly market
Fruit, vegetables, pulses, salt fish, dried fruit and nuts, spices, cooked dishes, etc.. Clothing, shoes, accessories, hardware, gifts, etc. Every Friday all year round, dozens of stalls fill the Masia Bas Municipal Car Park in Platja d’Aro to offer a wide range of bright and seasonal products to residents, visitors and tourists.

In Catalonia, fairs and markets have been held since before the middle ages. These were established due to the need for a meeting point for traders and buyers and they continue to this day. Despite the passage of time, they still provide a centre for social coordination, a meeting point for buyers and sellers, an agora, where the products are displayed directly and where one can still establish, on many occasions, direct contact with the producer.

Night life
Discover the most attractive, modern and avant-garde nightclubs and bars in the area. It is time to sample the colors of the night in the clubs, pubs and discotheques, famous around the country for their young, attractive and modern spirit. Atmosphere, music and friends for enjoying the late (or early) hours of the day.

Natural space
Catalonia is full of nature, with wonderful coastlines, sandy beaches and rocky coves, wooded hilltops, verdant valleys and the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees: the landscape that inspired Gaudí, Miró, Dalí and Tàpies. The Costa Brava is the unique and inimitable meeting point between the bright blue of the sea and the rocky outcrops covered in green pines. In Empordà the paths, farms and small villages of the plain coexist with the dynamism of the prime tourist centres on the coast.

Open spaces with multiple possibilities to practice there hiking and mountain biking, combining sports and leisure. Various routes, some taking advantage of the areas formerly occupied by train tracks, now offer the possibility of enjoying forgotten nooks and historically and culturally rich areas as you walk or pedal.

The coastline
The coastline is a place of dreams where lovers of open spaces find wide beaches, or small corners where the water and the trees embrace leaving just enough room for the most privileged bathers. For nature lovers, there are many possibilities: hiking, mountain-biking, nautical activities, all combining sport, tourism and leisure. The entertainment makes the ideal accompaniment to a family holiday with amusement parks, multi-screen cinemas, bowling, water parks, children’s clubs at the beach or guided cultural visits.

Lovers of nature and the outdoors will find everything from a large beach, to small nooks where the water and trees practically touch and leave just a small space for the most privileged bathers. These beaches have become areas of exceptional natural beauty, looked after by a programme of maintenance, security and information management that has obtained top awards, year after year.

Cala Belladona
All the blues of the Mediterranean at your disposal, to enjoy in all their beauty, strength and emotion.

Cala des Canyers
A treasure that, despite being on the map, remains protected from the crowds (a traditional naturist cove).

Cala del Pi
A hidden spot with all the essence of the Costa Brava: where pines and rocks hug the clearest water.

Cala Sa Cova
Tranquillity in an unspoilt and natural environment. An oasis of peace framed by shadows, rocks and boats

Cala Rovira
A wide and comfortable beach, close to the town centre, with its own personality, right next to the Coastal Path.

Platja Gran
A paradise for lovers of infinite expanses of golden sand, with all the tourist services within easy reach.

Cala Sa Conca
A place with its own special magic, a backdrop for films, which is the end of S’Agaro’s Coastal Path.

Cala Pedrosa
An oasis surrounded by the S’Agaro’s Coastal Path that here becomes a promenade with a unique balance of architecture and nature.

Platja del Racó
Gateway to S’Agaró, a wonderfully designed garden-city, anticipating the future while respecting the landscape.

Tags: Spain